Tag Archives: digital identity

The Crucial Link Between Accessibility and Digital Identity

Author: Marie Jordan from VISA. Additional contributions made by members of DIACC’s Adoption Expert Committee.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of the digital age, the concept of identity has transcended the physical realm and taken root in the digital world. This shift towards digital identities brings about numerous conveniences and efficiencies, but it also presents challenges: ensuring accessibility and equity for all. From online banking to social media profiles, our digital identity is an intricate tapestry that weaves together various facets of our lives. It’s crucial to note that when discussing inclusion, equity, and accessibility in this context, the focus is primarily on individuals who experience physical or cognitive disabilities that may impair their use of technology from the outset.

The importance of accessibility in creating digital identity solutions cannot be overstated. To achieve true inclusivity for this specific group, both the public and private sectors must prioritize accessibility and consider specific principles to safeguard the rights and privacy of individuals with disabilities. In this article, we’ll delve into the significance of accessibility for digital identity and the protection of marginalized communities, outlining key principles for both public and private sectors to consider.

Part 1: The Significance of Accessibility in Developing Digital Identity

Digital identity solutions are central to our modern lives, facilitating everything from accessing healthcare records to participating in online communities. However, these advantages are only fully realized when these systems are accessible to everyone, regardless of their physical or cognitive abilities, including accounting for aging populations. An initial product release that lacks accessibility and proves difficult to use, even if it functions as intended, can erode trust and create negative perceptions.

  • Universal design: A foundational principle for digital identity solutions is creating systems usable by all individuals, regardless of disability. A universally designed digital identity solution should accommodate a wide range of abilities, modalities of interaction, and preferences, ensuring that everyone can participate in the digital world on equal terms.
  • Inclusivity in development: Involving individuals with disabilities in the design and testing phases ensures that the final product is genuinely accessible. By including diverse perspectives, developers can identify and rectify accessibility issues early in the development cycle.
  • Adherence to standards: To ensure accessibility, digital identity solutions must adhere to globally recognized accessibility standards, such as W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. These provide a clear set of guidelines for making digital content and applications accessible. Compliance with these standards is crucial for ensuring that digital identities are available and usable for all.
  • User-centric approach: Developers must seek to understand how individuals with disabilities interact with their application or technology, offering customization options that empower users to adapt the system to their unique needs and requirements. This might include adjustable font sizes, alternative input methods, and compatibility with assistive technologies. They should also be adaptive in their design.
  • Privacy and security: Paramount in digital identity solutions, individuals with disabilities may be particularly vulnerable to privacy breaches and identity theft. Implementing robust security measures while maintaining respect for user privacy is essential. This can be achieved through encryption, robust authentication methods, and clear privacy policies. Regular audits and assessments can address the security and privacy practices of digital identity solutions as technology shifts, including vulnerability testing and compliance checks to ensure the highest standards of privacy and security are maintained.

Part 2: Safeguarding the Privacy and Trust of Individuals with Disabilities

To ensure that the privacy and trust of all citizens are safeguarded appropriately, accessible solutions must be designed and delivered with intent. To ensure that accessibility is realized, a high level of understanding and education is necessary for individuals to utilize their identity in digital channels without the apprehension of misuse or fear of being exploited.

  • Informed consent: Individuals with disabilities should have access to clear and understandable information about how their digital identity data will be used. Obtaining informed consent ensures that users are aware of the risks and benefits of participating in digital identity systems.
  • Minimal data collection: Users should understand that only the data that is absolutely necessary for the functioning of the digital identity system is being collected. Minimizing data collection reduces the risk of privacy breaches and limits the potential for misuse of personal information.
  • Transparency in data practices: Transparency should be maintained in data practices. All users must have access to their data and understand how it is being used and processed. Transparency, particularly to historically marginalized communities, builds trust and empowers individuals to make informed decisions about the use of their digital identities.
  • Accessible privacy settings and controls: Accessible privacy settings and controls that are easy for individuals with disabilities to use must be available. These controls must allow users to manage their data and privacy preferences effectively.

In conclusion, it’s important to recognize that accessibility, inclusion, and equity are multifaceted challenges. While this article focuses on individuals experiencing physical or cognitive disabilities, it’s crucial to acknowledge that there are various barriers to equitable access, including socio-economic factors, digital literacy, and language barriers. By addressing these challenges collectively, we can work towards creating a more inclusive digital world for everyone.

Canada’s trusted digital ID leader, the DIACC, welcomes Budget 2023

Canada’s trusted digital ID leader, the DIACC, welcomes Budget 2023; applauds the government for investments in digital transformation and Canada’s shift to a digital economy

TORONTO, MARCH 29, 2023 — Joni Brennan, President of the Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) released a statement following the tabling of the federal budget yesterday:

The DIACC welcomes the federal government’s investments for digital transformation and Canadian innovation to enable a thriving digital economy announced in yesterday’s budget.

Canada has an opportunity to be a global leader in digital ID, and unlock opportunities for Canadians, decrease costs for governments, consumers, and business, improve service delivery, and drive GDP growth. 

A digital identity is a highly personal yet critical component to both serve and protect Canadians. From increasing data protection and privacy in the public sector to strengthening national security, public safety and child protection through effective authentication and authorization, digital ID is an important part of our transition to a digital world and a digital economy. Further, we know that an effective, safe and secure digital ID ecosystem will save manual operation costs and reduce fraud, saving an estimated $482 million for provincial and federal governments, and $4.5 billion for private sector organizations.

This budget announcement reinforces the government’s commitment to Canada’s digital transformation as it looks for ways to be a full participant in the global digital economy and shift to a digital-first mindset. The government has made some encouraging progress in adopting digital technology solutions to better deliver programs and services, and Canadians are benefiting from that progress. 

We were pleased to see the following commitments included in the budget:

  • A commitment to introduce legislative amendments to the Criminal Code and the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) to strengthen the investigative, enforcement, and information sharing tools of Canada’s AML/ATF Regime.
  • A commitment to improving Airport Operations and Passenger Screening, including $1.8 billion over five years to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) to maintain and increase its level of service, improve screening wait times, and strengthen security measures at airports.
  • Commitments to improve service delivery for Canadians including $156.7 million over five years to reduce backlogs in Veterans Affairs Canada; $123.9 million over seven years for Old Age Security IT modernization; and a commitment to amend the Citizenship Act to enable the electronic administration of the citizenship program, automated and machine-assisted processing, and the collection and use of biometric information.

The budget provides an opportunity to further advance digital ID in Canada, and the DIACC remains committed to partnering with both government and industry to continue building a trusted digital ID ecosystem and educating Canadians to combat dis and misinformation regarding digital ID.

About Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC)

The Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) is a non-profit coalition of public and private sector organizations committed to developing research and tools to enable secure, robust, and scalable Canadian digital ID solutions and services. With privacy, security, and choice at the forefront of all DIACC initiatives, we aim to enable all Canadians to participate safely and confidently in the global digital economy.

For more information:


Voilà Verified Trustmark Program is Live – ‘duty of care’ a top priority

The Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada Launches Voilà Verified Program to Spotlight World-Class Vetted Digital Identity Solutions.

Toronto, October 18, 2022 – The Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) has officially launched the Voilà Verified Trustmark Program – the first and only certification program to determine digital identity service compliance with the Pan-Canadian Trust FrameworkTM (PCTF).

A non-profit coalition of over 115 public and private members, the DIACC develops research and opportunities to enable Canada’s confident, safe, and full participation in a global digital economy.  

“One size does not fit all when it comes to identity solutions – but ensuring a solution delivers upon a defined duty of care is critical,” says Joni Brennan, president of the DIACC. “With the PCTF, and now with Voilà Verified, there is an opportunity to adopt a framework rooted in trust – and to earn compliance recognition. Voilà Verified identifies those who are ‘walking the walk’ –  those who are delivering safe and secure access to the global digital economy.” 

The DIACC’s PCTF is a publicly available framework for identity solutions that defines client, customer, and individual duty of care. The Voilà Verified program provides a vetting and assessment opportunity where PCTF-compliant solution vendors can earn a public-facing Trustmark. The result? Spotlight visibility of trustworthy, safe, reliable, and efficient solutions.

“The PCTF being leveraged on a global scale marks a significant opportunity across industries,” says Franklin Garrigues, VP External Ecosystems at TD Bank Group, DIACC Board Vice-Chair. “Voilà Verified is rooted in safety, protection, and reliability. This program enables safe access to the global digital economy with certainty.” 

Voilà Verified presents an opportunity to grow provincial-level investments in digital identity solutions. Provincial governments who have launched identity services can now earn a Trustmark of their own, and provinces that are on the cusp of entering the digital solution market can do so with confidence by seeking vendors with a Voilà Verified Trustmark.  

“Going digital is a big step for governments – and now, with Voilà Verified, provincial leaders are empowered to do so with confidence by engaging solution vendors that will protect end-users first and foremost,” says Colleen Boldon, Director, Digital Lab and Digital ID Programs, Public Services and Smart Government, Province of New Brunswick and DIACC Board member.  

Ruth Puente, Voilà Verified’s Trustmark Verification Program Manager, says a leading component of the program’s development was to ensure its procedures aligned with the International Organization of Standardization (ISO). 

“Voilà Verified is inclusive yet diligent in verifying PCTF-compliant solutions. The program was developed in alignment with ISO standards – and empowers informed decision making in a rapidly growing ecosystem of identity solutions.”

Puente, based in Madrid, Spain, brings international perspective and expertise to the Voilà Verified program with deep experience in internet governance policy and public affairs, trust and privacy innovation, and digital identity frameworks and certification.

“Delivering high-quality service is our priority. Customer protection is our priority. Increasing access to trustworthy solutions is our priority. We have formed teams of international experts to perform assessments and to oversee the process through an impartial lens,” says Puente. 

Entities who are responsible for assessing PCTF compliance within the Voilà Verified program are known as Accredited Assessors, Readiness Advisors, and Testing Laboratories.

The first official Accredited Assessor and Readiness Advisor is KUMA, a private sector DIACC member and global privacy, security, and identity consulting firm specializing in custom cybersecurity solutions – now the world’s first and only assessor to offer identity assessments in the US, Canada, and the UK. 

“KUMA is bringing the same expertise to the Voilà Verified program that we’ve been bringing to our clients for over a decade,” says Michael Magrath, KUMA’s Managing Director of Digital Identity. “We are dedicated, alongside the DIACC, to generate growth opportunities for identity solutions across Canada and the globe.” 

The Voilà Verified Trustmark Oversight Board (TOB) will make all final verification decisions based on reports from accredited entities. Made up of third-party volunteers with international expertise in identity management, auditing, compliance, cybersecurity, information security, and law, the TOB is the highest operating body of Voilà Verified. It is subject to impartiality, confidentiality and conflict of interest policies. 

Voilà Verified is a unique opportunity in which I am honoured to share my experience as an advisor and auditor within information security, compliance, and identity,” says Björn Sjöholm, Cybersecurity Entrepreneur of Seadot, and TOB Chair. 

Vendors are turning to the Voilà Verified program for several reasons, but the leading value proposition is market differentiation. Trustmark holders stand out from competitors by unlocking global business opportunities through international recognition and credibility. 

“Voilà Verified puts internationally reputable identity solutions on the map,” says Dave Nikolejsin, the DIACC’s Board Chair. “This is the way forward. With lateral growth of PCTF compliance across sectors – public and private – we establish a common value of trust. Launching Voilà Verified is a monumental stride for Canada to influence a safe and secure global digital economy.” 

Voilà Verified is ready to serve your entity today. To learn more and access your application package, visit the program overview on the DIACC website or contact voila@diacc.ca

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DIACC is a growing coalition of public and private sector organizations that are making a significant and sustained effort to ensure Canada’s full, secure, and beneficial participation in the global digital economy. By solving challenges and leveraging opportunities, Canada has the chance to secure at least three percent of unrealized GDP or $100 billion of potential growth by 2030. Seizing this opportunity is a must in a digital society as we work through the COVID pandemic challenges. Learn more about the DIACC mandate


For almost a decade, Kuma has provided privacy, security and identity expertise to various local, state, and federal government agencies, non-profits, and businesses, often in highly regulated sectors. Trust is deeply ingrained in their ethos and is illustrated in the work they deliver in all engagements. Over the years, Kuma has gained and maintained customer confidence and built a reputation for customizing its cybersecurity services to meet the needs of small and large companies alike, while always grounded in national standards. Kuma rejects a “one-size fits all” approach, building long-standing working relationships with clients as they mature their security, privacy, and identity postures. For more information visit http://www.kuma.pro


Seadot Cybersecurity is run by entrepreneurs with a strong focus on effective and efficient security. The founders have extensive experience in information security as well as IT-security. Seadot offers cybersecurity services to organizations with a high demand for regulatory compliance and security. Seadot clients have their main business within the Nordics and Northern Europe. Seadot services include: Information Security Management, Software Security, IT security Operations, and Cybersecurity Compliance. Seadot is a Kantara Initiative Accredited Assessor. 

Lost and Found: Digital Identity Can Be The Difference Between Life And Death For Refugees

By Michael Cholod, Executive Director at the Peer Social Foundation. Additional contributions made by members of DIACC’s Outreach Expert Committee.

Imagine being lost in the woods or walking down a dusty road with only the clothes on your back. What would you do? Thankfully, most of us have never had to ask this question and we should consider ourselves lucky. Unfortunately, this is the plight facing over 100 million people on Earth right now, including 13 million Ukrainians who have been forced to run for their lives to escape the horrible atrocities of war.

As well, millions have fled their communities to find refuge in more stable parts of their country. These people are called Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). And of course, millions of others have left their countries entirely and have become Refugees.

Convenience for us, Lifesaving for others

Most Refugees and IDPs did not have the time to properly prepare by gathering all their important documents such as passports, identity cards, driver’s licenses, and land titles or rental agreements. Fleeing your home may save your life, but fleeing without identity documents can lead to a very long wait – sometimes a decade or more – before your life is stable again. Imagine desperately trying to assert your identity to an overwhelmed volunteer who may not speak your language, hoping to convince them you actually exist.Your have lost your idenitty and you have to beg to be found.

Let’s say the conflict is over, you manage to convince an official who you are, and it’s finally time to go home. Upon return, you find that your house or rental flat has been destroyed, or some stranger is living there with a shiny new land title or rental agreement proclaiming they are the rightful owner.

It has taken ten years to re-establish your identity only to come home and find yourself homeless once again. The futility of living without an identity or without evidence of ownership or occupancy of your home, land, or property (HLP), has become a serious, global problem. UNHCR, IOM, NGOs like the Norwegian Refugee Council and western donor agencies like the World Bank and New America exist to help people in such need.Groups like the Global Protection Cluster have formed special entities to study the HLP problem. It turns out that Digital Identity is fundamental to the solution.

Digital Identity is essential

In Ukraine for example, there are 10 million citizens registered with the national digital identity program Diia. Diia, which translates to ‘Action’ in English, is a mobile application that allows any Ukrainian citizen with a bank account to create, store, and register their identity and property ownership documents with the government. Since the Russian invasion of February 24, 2022, Diia even allows people to report war crimes and the movement of Russian troops from their mobile phone or computer.

Creating a digital record of your identity and property ownership or occupancy (HLP) makes you easier to find if you become undocumented since a digital copy of your life is safe with the government. Even if you must flee with only your smartphone or a set of credentials you’ve memorized, you can reclaim your identity and quickly file for compensation for damaged or destroyed HLP, and return home far sooner than those without digital credentials.

Don’t get me wrong, digital identity platforms like Diia are not a panacea. Not everyone is registered for Diia. Not everyone has a bank account, a computer, a smartphone, or Internet access, nor the skills to use them. Russia is occupying not just physical territory in Ukraine, they are also occupying Ukrainian cyberspace so it is important that digital identity solutions like Diia are secured against malicious actors bent on stealing people’s identity.

For most people, embracing digital identity might be the difference between being lost and found. That is reason enough for everyone to embrace digital identity as soon as possible.You never know when an explosion, hurricane, forest fire or rising water might wash you and all your possessions away leaving your family homeless. A digital lifeline can be far more than just convenient.

The DIACC partners with HTF on recommendations for a trusted and safe adoption of Digital ID

TORONTO, JUNE 7, 2022 — The Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) is excited to announce its partnership with the Human Technology Foundation (HTF) on a trusted, citizen-centric digital identity adoption. The purpose of the project is to develop a white paper for the fall of 2022 that will provide recommendations to Canadian and European policymakers on ongoing projects, with the common goal of unlocking secure, equitable access to the global digital economy. 

At a time when digital advancements are accelerating rapidly, policy modernization has the opportunity to enable people, businesses, and governments with access to digital ID verification solutions and services that are designed to empower people with security, privacy, and accountability. 

Although multiple Canadian provinces have either launched or made investments in digital ID products and services, federal funding and cohesive leadership remains the missing piece. Notably, in June of 2021, the European Commission proposed a trusted and secure digital ID framework for all European citizens. 

This highly anticipated project will begin with executive international insights from a DIACC Special Interest Group (SIG), alongside a renowned HTF Advisory Board. 

Both parties pride themselves on shared values for trusted, social, and people-centred benefits of digital ID. 

The DIACC is known for their core values of privacy, security, and choice to empower all Canadians to participate in the global digital economy confidently and safely.

The HTF leverages expert thought leadership to identify technology solutions that will lead to a more respectful society. They pride themselves on placing a human intention at the core of all interdisciplinary research projects.  

The DIACC and the HTF are comprised of people – designing solutions for people. Both organizations are proud to declare their resulting white paper as a free, publicly available resource upon completion. 

Members of both the DIACC and HTF communities who wish to review and share insights about the draft SIG project charter may sign up here: https://forms.gle/EosuLJNobAv9nJqD8


DIACC is a growing coalition of public and private sector organizations who are making a significant and sustained effort to ensure Canada’s full, secure, and beneficial participation in the global digital economy. By solving challenges and leveraging opportunities, Canada has the chance to secure at least three percent of unrealized GDP or $100 billion of potential growth by 2030. Seizing this opportunity is a must in a digital society as we work through the COVID pandemic challenges. Learn more about the DIACC mandate


Human Technology Foundation, created in 2012, is a foundation but also a research and action network placing the human being at the heart of technology development. For them, these technologies are also part of the solutions for building a society that is more respectful of everyone. The Human Technology Foundation network has several thousand members and operates in Paris, Montreal and Geneva. Indeed, if most technologies are neither good nor bad in themselves, they are not neutral either: they carry intentionality and a vision of the human being that must be questioned. From this perspective, the Human Technology Foundation is striving to put technology back at the heart of social debates.

Request for Comment & IPR Review: PCTF Digital Wallet Draft Recommendation V1.0

This review period is now closed.

Notice of Intent: DIACC is collaborating to develop and publish the Digital Wallet component of the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework (PCTF) to set a baseline of public and private sector interoperability of identity services and solutions. During this public review period, DIACC is looking for community feedback to ensure that the conformance criteria is clear and auditable.

Document Status: These review documents have been developed by members of the DIACC’s Trust Framework Expert Committee (TFEC) who operate under the DIACC controlling policies and consist of representatives from both the private and public sectors. These documents have been approved by the TFEC as Draft Recommendations V1.0.


The intent of the PCTF Digital Wallet component is to provide a framework that Digital Identity Ecosystem Participants can use to assess the degree to which the digital wallets that are part of their respective ecosystems accomplish the following: 

  1. Provide Citizens and Consumers with a Digital Identity Wallet that complies with the human rights principles of preserving people’s privacy and control over their information.
  2. Introduces a consistent identity metaphor and consent-driven automated experience across all Ecosystem Participants to reduce impact on users caused by Digital Transformation. 
  3. Contribute to a stable infrastructure with longevity and world-wide interoperability by adopting and supporting relevant standards as appropriate (e.g., W3C Standards for Verifiable Credentials and DIDs). 
  4. Counter cyber vulnerability and extortion by enabling Service Providers to incrementally replace existing login mechanisms, some of which may be exploitable, without suffering negative impact to business.
  5. Establish an environment of trust within which the wallet’s owner can interact with other Ecosystem Participants such as Issuers, Verifiers, and other Relying Parties.

To learn more about the Pan-Canadian vision and benefits-for-all value proposition please review the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework Overview.


  • All interested parties are invited to comment.


  • Opens: Apr. 10, 2022 at 23:59 PT | Closes: May 20, 2022 at 23:59 PT

When reviewing the components Conformance Criteria, please consider the following and note that responses to this question are non-binding and serve to improve the PCTF.

  1. Would you consider the Conformance Criteria as auditable or not? That is, could you objectively evaluate if an organization was compliant with that criteria and what evidence would be used to justify that?

Review Documents: PCTF Digital Wallet

Intellectual Property Rights:

Comments must be received within the 30-day comment period noted above. All comments are subject to the DIACC contributor agreement; by submitting a comment you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions therein. DIACC Members are also subject to the Intellectual Property Rights Policy. Any notice of an intent not to license under either the Contributor Agreement and/or the Intellectual Property Rights Policy with respect to the review documents or any comments must be made at the Contributor’s and/or Member’s earliest opportunity, and in any event, within the 30-day comment period. IPR claims may be sent to review@diacc.ca. Please include “IPR Claim” as the subject.


  • All comments are subject to the DIACC contributor agreement.
  • Submit comments using the provided DIACC Comment Submission Spreadsheet.
  • Reference the draft and corresponding line number for each comment submitted.
  • Email completed DIACC Comment Submission Spreadsheet to review@diacc.ca.
  • Questions may be sent to review@diacc.ca.

Value to Canadians:

The PCTF Digital Wallet component will provide value to all Canadians, businesses, and governments by setting a baseline of business, legal, and technical interoperability. The DIACC’s mandate is to collaboratively develop and deliver resources to help Canadian’s to digitally transact with security, privacy, and convenience. The PCTF is one such resource and guides digital identity ecosystem interoperability by putting policy, standards, and technology into practice aligning with defined levels of assurance. The DIACC is a not-for-profit coalition of members from the public and private sector who are making a significant and sustained investment in accelerating Canada’s Identity Ecosystem.


The purpose of this review is to ensure transparency in the development and diversity of a truly Pan-Canadian, and international, input. In alignment with our Principles for an Identity Ecosystem, processes to respect and enhance privacy are being prioritized through every step of the PCTF development process.

DIACC expects to modify and improve these Draft Recommendations based upon public comments. Comments made during the review will be considered for incorporation into the next iteration and DIACC will prepare a Disposition of Comments to provide transparency with regard to how each comment was handled.

2022 Budget Statement

Canada’s trusted digital ID leader, the DIACC, welcomes Budget 2022 investments for digital transformation and Canadian innovation

TORONTO, APRIL 7, 2022 — Joni Brennan, President of the Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) released a statement following the tabling of the federal budget today:

The DIACC welcomes the federal government’s investments for digital transformation and Canadian innovation to enable a thriving digital economy announced in today’s budget.

We have seen throughout the pandemic the heightened role digital services have played in supporting Canadians; however, the disruptive events here in Canada and abroad, including the misinformation and cyber attacks surrounding it, underscore the need to protect our citizens and businesses. Core to that safety is privacy, security and choice in how citizens and businesses across Canada share personal information online. That’s why a safe and secure digital ID ecosystem is essential for the post-pandemic economic recovery. 

Digital ID allows people and organizations to verify themselves online securely and protect personal information while allowing them to control how their information is used and shared. Like a physical ID card, digital ID credentials typically include documents and cards such as driver’s licences and passports. Digital ID is a choice. It is a supplemental tool for people and organizations to access online services.

A digital identity is a highly personal yet critical component to both serve and protect Canadians. We must have a clear path forward on how Canada’s public and private sectors can work together to build a trusted platform that protects our digital identities. 

We know that an effective, safe and secure digital ID ecosystem will save manual operation costs and reduce fraud, saving an estimated $482 million for provincial and federal governments, and $4.5 billion for private sector organizations.

Today’s budget announcement keeps the importance of secure and privacy protecting digital ID in our windows and more work needs to be done to develop this path based on citizen consent, control, and trust. We look forward to collaborating with the government on consultations to support these imperative next steps while finding ways to combat misinformation that surrounds it. 

We are also pleased to see the Government of Canada maintaining the momentum on its commitment to work “towards a common and secure approach for a trusted digital identity platform to support seamless service delivery to Canadians across the country.”

Trusted, interoperability platforms that secure Canadian identities are more critical now than ever before.

About Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC)

The Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) is a non-profit coalition of public and private sector organizations committed to developing research and tools to enable secure, robust, and scalable Canadian digital ID solutions and services. With privacy, security, and choice at the forefront of all DIACC initiatives, we aim to enable all Canadians to participate safely and confidently in the global digital economy.

For more information

Krista Pawley


416 270 9987

Privacy, Security, and Choice Drive Canadians’ Desire for Digital ID

Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada Research Finds Canadians Want Digital ID that is user-centric and aligns with their values

Access the full 2021 Research Report
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Toronto, April 4, 2022 – Canadians need to feel safe and in control when they engage in the digital economy. Core to that safety are privacy, security and choice in how they share personal information online. According to the third annual national survey undertaken by the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC), a staggering 91 per cent of Canadian respondents are calling for control over their personal data collected by provincial and federal governments. 

Additionally, 86 per cent of respondents want control over personal data collected by private organizations, and 80 per cent want a secure and unified digital ID ecosystem.

“A trusted pan-Canadian digital identity framework is essential to digital economic prosperity,” said DIACC president Joni Brennan. “While there is some progress on recognizing the importance of digital ID, Canada is still at a stage where more work must be done on the policy side to ensure a truly digital economy.”

Unlocking an inclusive digital economy is an opportunity for the government to rebuild much-needed trust among Canadians, enhance privacy, and demonstrate that citizens’ rights are a top priority. According to the Edelman 2021 Canadian Trust Barometer, only 53 per cent of Canadians trust government organizations – a drastic decline of six points since only the previous year.

DIACC’s research reflects this lack of trust. “A trusted digital ID framework needs to be designed with people at the centre. All Canadians need to be able to choose if and how they want to use their digital ID credentials. Digital ID is not intended to replace existing physical ID methods, but as an optional supplemental tool,” Brennan said.

Establishing a trusted digital ID will allow people and organizations the choice to verify themselves online securely, while protecting personal information with no user traceability. It offers a decentralized, privacy-enhancing solution for both the private and public sectors.

The DIACC applauds the federal government for including digital identity as a priority in Treasury Board President Mona Fortier’s mandate letter. The need to invest in digital ID was also referenced twice in the House of Commons Finance Committee’s 2021 pre-budget recommendation as critical to supporting Canada’s Digital Government Strategy in secure service delivery.

“It’s encouraging to see recognition of the critical role that digital identity plays in enabling Canada’s economy; however, we need to see a real commitment to action if we are going to reap the benefits of Digital ID and Digital Trust in meaningful economic growth,” said Dave Nikolejsin, the DIACC’s Board Chair, referring to the DIACC’s Pan-Canadian Trust Framework™ (PCTF).

The PCTF is a publicly available set of tools, shared principles, and guidelines to help organizations operate in a digital ecosystem. It includes processes like Notice and Consent, Authentication, Verification, Privacy, Credentials, and Infrastructures – both technologically and operationally.

Most importantly, the PCTF is citizen-centric. It is designed to keep users safe.

“This is an opportunity for industry and government leaders to come together and build a strong partnership. We have the fundamentals, we have the expertise, and we have the framework. Now, we need mutual investment across sectors to put the PCTF into action,” said Franklin Garrigues, VP External Ecosystems at TD Bank, DIACC Board Vice-Chair.

Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents are calling for governments to collaborate with the private sector to develop a pan-Canadian digital ID. On top of this, three quarters want the government to move quickly.

Privacy. Security. Choice.

DIACC is committed to developing research and tools to enable secure, robust, and scalable Canadian digital identity (digital ID) solutions and services. With digital advancements happening at a surefire rate, DIACC prioritizes privacy, security, and, most importantly, choice of use at the forefront of all digital ID initiatives.

To achieve real growth and sustainability, Canadians need transparency in governance. They need a digital ID they can own and choose to use. A digitally and economically prosperous Canada depends on it.

Learn more about the DIACC and digital ID.

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DIACC is a growing coalition of public and private sector organizations who are making a significant and sustained effort to ensure Canada’s full, secure, and beneficial participation in the global digital economy.  By solving challenges and leveraging opportunities, Canada has the chance to secure at least three per cent of unrealized GDP or $100 billion of potential growth by 2030. Seizing this opportunity is a must in a digital society as we work through the COVID pandemic challenges. Learn more about the DIACC mandate

DIACC was created as a result of the Minister of Finance’s Electronic Payments Task Force that recommended that Canada needs a framework for digital identity and authentication that a self-governing body of experts must create.

Want to contribute to a digital ID ecosystem? Apply to become a DIACC member today. 


Burak Jacobson Research Partners is a full-service market research consulting firm headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. Founded in 1981, Burak Jacobson has conducted over 4,000 research projects in 39 countries across a variety of industries.

Guidance on the Acceptable Use of Biometrics – DIACC Special Interest Group Insights

In the fall of 2020, A DIACC Special Interest Group (SIG) was created to address the following question, “Do we need a made-for-Canada biometrics standard or Pan-Canadian Trust Framework (PCTF) component or does an existing national, international, or industry standard meet our needs?”.

With input from public and private sector DIACC members and liaisons, the following guidance was created as a recommendation that the DIACC’s Trust Framework Expert Committee (TFEC) agreed to consider. Specified business, legal, and technical process requirements will be identified and considered by the TFEC for inclusion in future versions of the PCTF.


DIACC Women in Identity: Julianne Trotman

DIACC is hosting a series of spotlights showcasing our amazing female DIACC members in the digital identity space, noting the importance of diversity. These spotlights will be regularly socialized through DIACC’s LinkedIn and Twitter channels as well as our monthly member newsletters.

If you’re a DIACC member and would like us to feature your spotlight, contact us today to learn more!

What has your career journey looked like?

It has not been what I would call a straight line. I started out in accounting and financial services before I transitioned to what I call my second career, marketing. I will say that every discipline and role I have had has allowed me to gain a wide selection of experiences and expertises. These have ultimately made me a more well-rounded marketer that views my role and responsibilities from a wider business perspective.

When you were 20 years old, what was your dream job and why?

I wanted to be a backup dancer for Janet Jackson. I was a competitive dancer and I wanted to make dance my career, however dance is unforgiving on the body and ultimately only a very small few make it to that level :)

As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?

Imposter Syndrome. For me, I have had to fight through the “I don’t belong at this table” feeling, both from self doubt but also from men in the room who have made the environment one where I have not felt like I belong. On average, I have learnt to overcome this and to let my skills and experience speak for themselves.

How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

This has been a challenge for most of my career, however over the past few years I have learned to find balance. I have carved out time to do the things I enjoy such as travelling, road riding, golf, and photography. It is not always easy or practical (depending on your role) to be able to turn things off, from a work perspective, at 5 or 6 pm but I do believe that you have to create a division between work and state. When I am hanging out with my family and friends I try to be present and in the moment and when I am working I am fully committed and engaged in my work and my team.

How can more women be encouraged to pursue careers in the digital ID/tech space?

I think introducing girls into STEM at an early age is a great way to get them comfortable and inspired with the disciplines. Early exposure and education to the tech space is key so that girls can see that these disciplines are not just for boys and that anyone can do it.

What are some strategies you have learned to help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

A couple of things (1) You should have a deliberate plan with regards to how you intend to advance in your career. For some this may come easily without much forethought, but for many of us being purposeful helps to provide a roadmap to our goals. (2) Don’t be afraid to highlight your achievements. For women especially, this tends to go against the way we are hardwired. However, if you don’t take control of your career, you can not expect others to and finally (3) Find an advocate, not a mentor, but someone that you can confide in, get advice from and who knows your abilities and will campaign for you as you move through your career.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

As far as we think we have progressed, with regards to women breaking the glass ceiling, in many respects it still is one step forward two steps back. You will know they have overcome the biggest challenge when they are described as tech professionals and not prefaced as women in tech.

What advice would you give to young women entering the field?

Be curious, never stop learning, and be bold.

Julianne Trotman is the Growth Marketing Lead at Vaultie

Follow Julianne on LinkedIn

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